Thursday, August 2, 2012

Earning my Super Mom title!

Josh went back to work last week and I have officially been home alone with all 3 kids. If you are wondering why Josh is working so early - here's why. Our school district has one elementary building on a 45/15 calendar (45 days of school, 15 days off). There are 3 sections of this in our kindergarten center. This year, Josh volunteered as was chosen to teach one of these sections. For our family, this will save us in daycare costs and makes the most sense. I'm home with the kids now in August and Josh will be home with the kids in October for 3 weeks and March for 2 weeks (the 3rd week I have spring break!).

Last week I went to my parents house to have some help, celebrate my sister's birthday and say goodbye to my brother, Bruce as he left for his year tour in the Middle East. Here is a "picture story" of our time "alone". I'm totally managing and really can handle all 3 kids.

Some people say that I'm out numbered or that I have my hands full. Yes I do have my hands full, but I was also chosen to be a mother of 3 small children...God knew that I could handle this, and that time has come to prove it! It's a rare occasion that all 3 kids are crying. Callie is a rock star for me and I have been able to keep her busy and occupied. If she starts throwing a tantrum, I am able to calmly distract her. If the boys start crying - well, I shove a bottle in their mouth for now! Haha!

I have developed a much closer bond with the boys than I had before last week. I can tell they prefer me and are easily relaxed when I'm around. Their eyes follow me around the room all the time, constantly wondering where I am! I have only felt stressed once and it quickly passed when I kept breathing and telling myself they are so little and have no idea otherwise!

Yes I am tired, but I drink a lot of diet coke and diet dr. pepper - YUMMY! I've been good about not having one until 9:30 AM/10:00 AM - which really, that's late considering my day starts at 6 am!

I've also been venturing out with all 3 kids! I'd go crazy being cooped up inside all day - everyday! It is very entertaining to see me going with all 3, but if you can handle some of my witty comments, it can be quite commical :)

Enjoy the picture story of our first few days together...just us, mom and her kids!

Carter - wearing his LAST newborn diaper ever :-(
Collin wearing his LAST newborn diaper ever :-( He is a little more sad about this than Carter is!
Callie and I taking a self-portrait at Great Grandma Shellum's house!
This picture melts my heart! My mom, dad, myself and kids went to visit my Grandma Shellum - this was her first time meeting the boys! My dad was holding Collin and check this out...seriously MELTS MY HEART! These two sure have a special bond!
Great Grandma Shellum holding the boys!!! She's successfully past the "McRae Challenge"
So we were back at my mom's house, relaxing. My dad was napping, Callie was napping, my mom was on her computer and I was snuggling the boys! I snapped this picture right before I too fell asleep...later I woke up and my mom had put them in the pack n play so I could really enjoy my nap! Thanks :-)
As you have read, the Bredlow Family has moved back to MN - but Bruce has to leave for the Middle East for one year :( This was his going away party/house warming party/Heidi's birthday! ALL of Callie's cousins were there and she was SO excited! She kept asking for Claire before we got there! Here the kids are helping Grampa put together a backyard game!
Uncle Bruce was quick to love up on Carter!
All of the cousins eating (except for the boys) fun :) l love that I have children to be apart of this table!!!
Callie was handnig out free kisses! She started by giving some to Great Grandpa Schwartz!
Then to her Grampa!!
Let's not forget Trooper!! "Pooper"
$20 bucks says this (or one like it) will be my mom and dad's Christmas card this year! All 9 grandkids TOGETHER :-) I love that you can look at their faces and SEE which Shellum girl they belong to :-) It's like a fun game!
Sillies! I love how Tyler is giving Carter bunny ears!
Callie and her favorite girl cousin...Claire :) She sure loves Claire!
This park is seriously awesome! Callie had a blast and it is so close to Heidi's that we'll be able to enjoy it more often!
Mommy & Callie enjoying the park :)
Trey pushing Trygg, Callie and Baby Bear around in the dump truck! They were having a blast with that!
:-) When Tyler looks out his bedroom window, this is what he sees! Uncle Bruce and Callie riding her :) I can't remember her name, but it's pretty funny!
Pictures with Uncle Bruce before he heads off...WE LOVE YOU :-)
So my garden has been growing a lot...unfortunately the damn deer have gotten in (even though I've used the spray) and basically killed my cucumber plant and peas. Thankfully, this year I have gotton a lot of green beans! I've eaten a few, but I did what I said I was going to do! I snipped the ends, steamed and food processed! The texture was different than I expected but some of my fellow MOM's on FB offered advice and said that this is normal for homemade beans.
I went to the dollar store, bought some ice cube trays, filled them with our beans, froze and popped them into ziplock baggies! I so far have made this many green beans! I've also made the following (the same amount give or take)...
Sweet potatoes, yellow squash, yellow squash + zucchini (we call it Yellow Zucchini) and sweet potatoes + zucchini (we call this Sweet Zucchini). I'm going to make MORE green beans, Acorn Squash, peas, carrots and some fruit! It is so fast, so easy and SO HEALTHY!
Thank you Don & Sharon for giving us a food processor - this is SERIOUSLY fast! I use my Pampered Chef Large Micro Cooker to steam everything and I can have these ice cube trays filled within 15 minutes!
On Sunday, Josh and I were pretty sick and tired of being cooped up in our house (too hot to be outside) we headed to Rochester for Family Fun Day (I love these random day trips as a family!). We went to Color Me Mine and let Callie pick out something to paint! She chose a puppy and picked out four colors to paint him! She had a BLAST!
Here she is showing us her puppy proudly! We can't WAIT to see how her puppy turns out! She is already so excited. I painted a platter, but honestly, my kids painted it! When Callie was 2.5 months old, I took her to Color Me Mine and we made her daddy a 'Grill Platter" with her little footprints on it! I have been working REALLY hard to do the same thing with the boys that I did with Callie! So of course, I needed their footprints!
My new platter will have all of my kid's footprints on it and I am SO excited to see it :-)
We headed to Toys R Us (a store that Callie DOES recognize) and of course walked out with new toys :) And then headed over to the mall to eat. Luckily we got to the mall to eat just in time...they closed shortly after! The lady at Sbarro's Pizza gave Callie a balloon which Callie was SO excited about :-) This picture says it all!
On Monday morning (7/30) the boys had a chiropractor appointment, so the four of us (myself and 3 kids) went to that. On our way home I decided to head to Band Shell park to let Callie run around. She doesn't have as much fun when we're not running around chasing her, but she enjoyed playing a little and watching the other kids.
The boys had a fun time playing outside too!
Callie playing on the "little" part of the park!
It was also a very nice evening, so Josh started up the bonfire that night and we sat outside (all 5 of us) enjoying the fire! I was able to capture this sweet father-daughter moment.
On Tuesday, we went to visit our new friend Grafton Langemo in the hospital! Ella (you've read about her friend Ella in previous posts), and our friend's Karol and Brady had a baby boy on Monday morning! So of course we had to go to Target to pick up a present for him! THANKK YOU TARGET for having big carts to haul all of my children around in! Yes I got a lot of looks, people asking if the boys were twins (no, I just had them on the same day) and constantly telling me, "You have your hands full". Yes I am busy, but I love my kids dang it, and I can handle it! If I couldn't I'd be in my pajamas, sitting on my couch crying!
Callie LOVES going on walks, and since it hasn't been AS hot lately, we tend to go on more - boys and all :) Callie has two loves on her walks: Stop Signs and Fire Hydrant's! We always ask Callie questions about these items! She knows stop signs are red octagons and you're supposed to stop at them! I'm working on her telling me there are 8 sides in an octagon :)
On Wednesday, I had to call in our Gramma Intervention! The boys had their shots today and there was no way I was doing it alone! Here they are "pre-shots" Happy and as cute as can be!
Gramma loving up on Carter before he was pricked with shots! The boys have both gained a ton of weight too! Collin is no 10 pounds 3 ounces and Carter is 10 pounds 13 ounces! Collin is 21.5'' long and Carter is 22'' long! I can't believe that Carter is bigger than Collin when he was the smaller one at birth! They are both growing and very healthy!
Callie came with us and you would not have known she was in the room at all! We were in there for more than an hour (it takes a long time with twins and shots)...she played on the iPad, ate treats, colored and read her Princess Bible.
BUT...when we got home and had to take a nap, it was another story! We learned a new trick from some friends and we have been sticking with it! If Callie gets out of bed at bedtime or nap time, or gives us a hard time and refuses to take a nap, we take a toy away. She won't get that toy the rest of the day (nap time) or the entire next day (bed time). As you can see from this picture - it was a rough one...she lots 8 of her favorite toys! My mom felt horrible watching Callie chase after me as I put them on top of the counter (if they are out of sight they are out of mind...), but I kept saying, "She'll come around" which she did! She was a rock star after that!
After her nap, she wanted to play with Gramma! I love this silly picture - I just wish the lighting was better! Callie was posing with a pretzel stick :) Haha
The boys had a rough afternoon after the shots. It was obvious they were painful, so we started tylenol, gave lots of TLC and cuddles...Here is Collin giving me smiles while Daddy was at softball!
Carter too - being silly and full of smiles! Seriously, how can you not fall in love with these two faces!

For me, I've kept my sanity! I took Callie to the Albert Lea fair today and the boys went to Jessica's! We had a BLAST! Callie and I went with our friend Amy and her daughter Aubrey! We saw cows (which moo'ed at her), pigs, goats, horses, ducks, etc...We watched a pig race - yes a pig race! We rode on some rides and played games. Of course we ate, but not a lot! I figured we would save the "pigging out" for the Austin fair next week ;) Callie won a toy trumpet and boy does she love it! I'm sure her brothers are going to LOVE listening to her playing it.. (Sorry I don't have pictures up...I just got home and am finishing this blog...)

I've quickly gotten my kids on a schedule. They nap together (same time) and eat at the same time. I was nervous thinking that taking on 3 kids would be tough, but I really do have it figured out. I've quickly learned that if Callie is not down for her nap by 12:30 that she is a bear cat! I'm honestly very impressed with myself and how much I am able to get done throughout the day! Laundry, cooking, changing sheets on all beds, playing and entertaining, feeding, changing and the obvious...blogging!

I think it is safe to say that I have earned my Super MOM title!!!

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